January 21st

IOC hosts Israeli-Palestinian sports talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Graham Dunbar - January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli and Palestinian Olympic officials met Thursday to begin building closer ties and help send stronger teams to the 2012 London Games. IOC President Jacques Rogge brokered a five-hour gathering at Olympic headquarters that addressed lifting Israeli travel restrictions to allow Palestinian athletes and coaches more access between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian athletes were promised IOC funding and Israeli support to prepare for the London Olympics.

Palestinians defy US with Security Council request
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian request to have the U.N. Security Council condemn Israeli settlements looks at first like another declarative gambit that changes little on the ground. But much more is at stake. Palestinians hope their Security Council initiative will give them an idea of how much support they have for future moves. These include seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state as early as this fall.

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian gunman - army
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian gunman opened fire at Israeli soldiers, who shot back and killed him, near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Thursday, the military said. The incident seemed likely to fuel concern in Israel that Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the occupied West Bank, which have largely subsided in the past few years, could increase if peace talks remain frozen. Major Itamar Ashkenazi, a deputy battalion commander in the area where the shooting took place, said the attacker was on a donkey when he approached the guard post near the Jewish settlement of Mevo Dotan.

Who's Afraid of the Palestinians?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Hussein Agha, Robert Malley - (Book Review) January 10, 2011 - 1:00am

During the last two years, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has suffered serious setbacks. Other than for a brief, fleeting moment, Israelis and Palestinians have had no direct political contact and there is little hope, for now at least, that this will change. Any faith Israelis and Palestinians may have in the possibility of an agreement is collapsing.

PLO Flag Raised in Washington, D.C.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from CBN News
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) raised its official flag for the first time outside its Dupont Circle offices in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. The Obama administration granted permission to fly the flag last July, despite the mission's lack of embassy status. PLO official Maen Ariekat raised the flag at a ceremony marking the occasion. "It's about time this flag - that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood - be raised in the United States," Ariekat said.

Obama at Half Time: Two Years in the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Council on Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Blog) January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

There will be many assessments of what President Obama has achieved in the Middle East during his two years as President, and few will be positive.

French FM accosted on her way into Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
January 21, 2011 - 1:00am

A crowd of furious Palestinian protesters have tried to block the French foreign minister on her way into the Gaza Strip, jumping on her vehicle and lying on the road. Dozens of protesters surrounded Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's convoy and tried to block her passage through the Erez Crossing from Israel on Friday. The protesters were relatives of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons. They were angry about comments made by Alliot-Marie on Thursday in support of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants in Gaza since 2006.

Israel concerned about possible fallout from Lebanon government split
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - January 20, 2011 - 1:00am

The Lebanese political crisis, triggered by Hezbollah's departure from government last week, has Israel worried that the situation could become violent and spill over the Israel-Lebanon border. Regional efforts to mediate between Prime Minister Saad Hariri's bloc and the Hezbollah-led opposition failed today, with Turkey and Qatar giving up a day after Saudi Arabia pulled out.

FBI took long look at AIPAC activities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

FBI agents thought they were hunting a spy for Israel in 2004 when they sought to raid the offices of a top lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by The Washington Times. The 27-page document, which is still under court seal, provides an extraordinary look at what the agents considered to be espionage activity in a nearly five-year counterintelligence probe of one of the pro-Israel lobby's top officials.

Leader confounds both sides with plans for Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - January 21, 2011 - 1:00am

No one seems to know what to make of him. Israelis puzzle over the cleanshaven technocrat who denounces violence. Palestinians see an outsider who never cut his teeth on the tear-gas-choked streets of intifadas. Now, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad hopes to confound expectations even further, pursuing what some see as a quixotic goal of laying the groundwork for an independent country by August. No matter that peace talks are stalled. If Palestinians build the trappings of a state, he believes, a real state will follow.

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